The planned protest by the pro-Palestine BDS movement against Grammy award-winning artist Pharrell Williams's concert on Monday night could be the biggest action against a musician in South African history, the group said.
The local Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement expects at least 40 000 people to picket outside the main entrance of Grand West Casino in Cape Town.
The internationally acclaimed producer and performer has come under fire for collaborating with local retail group Woolworths who have been the focus of local pro-Palestine activists for their trade with Israel.
The Western Cape High Court ruled in favour of BDS at the weekend, declaring that the City of Cape Town's restriction of the upcoming protest of 150 people was unconstitutional and therefore invalid, according to the pro-Palestine group.
The organisation applied for a permit from the city to accommodate 50 000 protestors outside the concert. It said after consulting with safety and town planning experts, that it decided to compromise and settle for 40 000 protestors.
The BDSers claim that they had all the logistics ready for a massive protest:
Logistics organised for today’s protest event include fencing, safety personnel and marshals, ambulances and medics, free trains, two shuttles (to assist elderly, pregnant woman and young children), volunteer cleaners, water sachets, neon glow-sticks, face-paint, cultural groups and artists (including award-wining artist Tumi Molekane), over 250 hand written #AreWithUs #BoycottWoolworths placards and 150 Palestinian flags.
Members of the community can be assured that this protest event is well organised, it is going ahead and we will do so in a lawful and dignified manner.
Here is the biggest crowd shot I could find in a RT video of the event:
Not exactly impressive, is it?
About 500 people demonstrated outside a Cape Town venue where Pharrell Williams was due to perform on Monday, in protest against the U.S. pop star's promotional deal with South African retailer Woolworths and its trade ties with Israel.From 50,000 to 500? 99% of the expected crowd didn't bother to come.